About Us: Who We Are
The Rochester Women's Community Chorus provides a creative and safe environment for women of various levels of musical expertise to sing together. The chorus embraces women of many cultural and ethnic backgrounds, life experiences and sexual orientations. The RWCC is dedicated to using music as the vehicle for messages of peace, hope, understanding, and cooperation within the global community. While all singing members are women, both men and women who wish to join the RWCC family are welcomed in non-singing roles.
The RWCC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
What Kind of Music Do We Sing?
RWCC sings a wide variety of choral music selected from various genres, cultures, and choral traditions. We particularly enjoy pieces that are written by and for women, as well as pieces that speak to issues of social equality. Some examples of our recent repertoire:
- Contemporary choral--"Seal Lullaby," Whitacre; "Life is Not a Garden," Alexander; "Peace on Earth... and Lots of Little Crickets"
- World music--"Iraqi Peace Song," Tennenhouse; "Eatnemen Vuelie," Fjellheim (opening yoik from Frozen); "Igraj Kolce"
- Pop and Broadway--"Brave," Sara Bareilles; "Puttin' On the Ritz"
- Social Equality--"Famine Song"; "How Can I Cry," Moira Smiley; "Everything Possible," Small/Moore
- Spirituals/Gospel--"Still I Rise," Powell; "Study War No More", arr. Moore; "Miss Celie's Blues"
The RWCC began in 1978 as Rochester Womyn's Community Chorus. Its philosophy at that time was to provide a vehicle for the feminist women's community through singing. The directors for the first five years were professional musicians and the chorus sang only music composed by women. All decisions, including musical ones, were made by consensus and feedback.
The chorus disbanded briefly in 1984, and resumed its activity in 1985, led by Deborah Wachspress. The group's name became the Rochester Women's Community Chorus (RWCC). The chorus changed its structure and intent to include all quality music that did not contain lyrics of an oppressive nature.
In 1997, the RWCC became a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and established a board of directors, in whose hands the fiscal responsibilities, planning, and major decisions are entrusted.
In 2011, Kristy Houston took the helm as musical director.
The RWCC continues to grow in numbers and increase its outreach to the greater Rochester community.